HomeEditor's Pick“Newsom Weighs Options for Feinstein Successor: Conflict or Cooperation?

“Newsom Weighs Options for Feinstein Successor: Conflict or Cooperation?

As the race to succeed California Senator Dianne Feinstein comes to a close, Governor Gavin Newsom is grappling with competing pressures from Democrats, Republicans, and various other state power-holders as he prepares to announce his appointment.

The most prominent candidate in the running is California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who Newsom has expressed “full faith” in. However, the Governor is also facing pressure from progressive legislators, advocacy organizations, and even some of the state’s top powerbrokers to appoint Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) to the seat.

Rep. Bass’s credentials include her senior leadership role in the Congressional Black Caucus, and her term as California assembly speaker. She has also gained a reputation for her skilled diplomatic work in the House, which has won her many admirers within both major political parties.

However, Newsom’s position has been further complicated by pressure from the California Republican Party. The GOP has urged the Governor to use his appointment to try and force a special election, as they believe it could result in the return of a GOP majority in the Senate.

Meanwhile, other Democratic groups are insisting that Newsom move quickly to appoint a successor who will be able to campaign and build support for the Democratically held seat. Feinstein’s retirement had already left the party at risk of losing the seat, and with most of the state’s attention already turning to the 2022 election, the clock is ticking for Newsom’s decision.

Ultimately, it is the Governor’s prerogative to appoint the candidate he believes will best serve the state. With the wide range of pressures on him, however, it is clear that Newsom’s decision could have sweeping implications for California politics.